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Rich Lesser President and Chief Executive Officer

For more than a decade, we have worked with companies to identify the environmental and social impacts of their businesses and help them create value that benefits the broader communities they operate in and serve.

BCG is proud of its longstanding commitment to support clients across geographies and industries in their sustainability journeys. For more than a decade, we have worked with companies to identify the environmental and social impacts of their businesses and help them create value that benefits the broader communities they operate in and serve.

Among the most ambitious sustainability journeys we have supported is that of Hawaiian Electric Industries, the utility that provides electricity to 95 percent of Hawaii’s 1.4 million residents. The company relied on costly, oil-based generation for about 70 percent of its total generating capacity, contributing to electricity rates that were three times the U.S. mainland average. Recognizing the need for a transformation, the company defined a vision to “empower customers and communities with affordable, reliable, clean energy.”

We encouraged Hawaiian Electric to set bold targets and aggressive milestones for achieving progress. Working closely with a BCG team, the company established ambitious goals for 2030: increasing the share of renewables in the generation mix from 18 percent to 67 percent (and an unprecedented 100 percent by 2045), tripling distributed rooftop solar adoption and reducing customers’ bills by 25 percent. To support the effort, we helped the company create a model that tracks electricity production and demand on an hourly basis, optimizing the resource mix for cost, renewables and distributed generation while ensuring grid reliability and stability.

Achieving these ambitious goals will create significant benefits for Hawaiian Electric’s customers, the environment and the utility itself. Customers will see significant reductions in their bills while gaining access to a broader array of products and services. The environmental benefits will be equivalent to planting 300 million trees or taking 1.5 million vehicles off the road (more vehicles than are used on all the Hawaiian islands). The utility will see new opportunities to invest in leading-edge technologies, such as smart grid and battery storage.

In discussing sustainability, BCG advises clients to “play the long game” — in terms of both the duration of the effort and the breadth of its impact, especially for customers. This often entails a new mindset for executives accustomed to hitting quarterly targets that measure success within the organization’s four walls. We also apply this mindset to our own sustainability efforts. Whether it means elevating sustainability on our clients’ agendas, partnering with public and social-sector organizations, or pursuing our own green initiatives, BCG remains committed to sustainability for the long haul.